French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday urged Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to boost cooperation to fight terrorism and illegal immigration, following the killing of a teacher by a youth from the predominantly Muslim Russian region of Chechnya.
For his part, Putin expressed his condolences over the grisly beheading of teacher Samuel Paty near the school where he worked in a northwest Paris suburb on Friday, calling it “a barbarous murder”, the Russian presidency said.
“In this context, the two parties reaffirm their mutual interest in intensifying joint efforts to fight against terrorism and the propagation of extremist ideology,” the Kremlin added.
Macron spoke to Putin by phone and said he wanted to see both “a strengthening of Franco-Russian cooperation in the fight against terrorism and illegal immigration,” the French presidency said, without giving details.
On Saturday, the day after the murder, the Russian embassy in Paris stressed that the 18-year-old Chechen assailant Abdullakh Anzorov -- who was killed by police following the murder -- had had no links with Moscow since 2008.
“This crime has no relation to Russia because this person had lived in France for the past 12 years,” Russian embassy spokesman Sergei Parinov told state news agency TASS.
Anzarov arrived in France at the age of six with his family as refugees, thus automatically forfeiting his Russian nationality.
Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov on Saturday condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to Paty’s family but he also urged France not to “provoke” Muslims.
“Find it in you to admit that Muslims have the right to a religion, and no one can take it away!” he said in a statement on his Telegram channel.
Kadyrov said Chechens had nothing to do with the attack, stressing that Anzorov had been raised in France and visited Chechnya only once -- when he was two years old.
French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Tuesday that Paty would be posthumously bestowed France’s highest order of merit, the Legion of Honour.